The benefits of Earth's resources—such as fresh water, air, soil, and trees—can be reduced by deliberately or inadvertently polluting them. The atmosphere, the oceans, and the land have a limited capacity to absorb and recycle waste materials. In addition, some materials take a long time to degrade. Therefore, cleaning up polluted air, water, or soil can be difficult and costly.
For Grades: 9-12
Learning Goal 9
Although the earth has a great capacity to absorb and recycle materials naturally, ecosystems have only a finite capacity to withstand change without experiencing major ecological alterations that may also have adverse effects on human activities.